Women, men and children from all parts of the city came together on Thursday to grow a network of support as they took part in the Women’s Humanity Walk through the CBD with Artscape and the South African Faith and Family Institute.
The walk formed part of the 12th edition of the Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival (AWHAF), themed “A Spotlight on Cultural Diversity: Transformation & Healing Through the Arts”.
A jam-packed programme of entertainment featured an array of dance and musical performances by various community groups, including the Cape Cultural Collective Rosa Choir, Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, Kleinvlei Fitness Club, Gugulethu United We Stand Pantsula Dancers and more.
CANSA, in partnership with TBHIV and OTSM, also conducted health screenings, while the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre offered free legal advice and counselling.
Artscape CEO Marlene Le Roux said: “The walk went exceptionally well. For the first time we’ve reached the humanity target. There were persons with disability, young boys, young girls and it was a family humanity walk, we felt we reached out to everybody from different walks of life.
"The message of transformation and diversity and humanity came out very strongly and we combined that with the message to combat gender violence with action."
She said the purpose of the walk was “so that you meet new people to grow a network of support, beyond your own community”.
“The walk is about us talking to each other because sometimes you feel so alone in your abuse that you think it’s only happening to you, while most of us are sometimes going through different kinds of abuse. Then we can assist each other.”
Florence Xulu, from the Local Network of Care in Khayelitsha, attended the event with a group of women from her community. She said their attendance was important because “it shows us how we will get our freedom”.
“We still face abuse, poverty, lack of communication from those who are in Parliament because they don't come to us to ask what do you need, what do you want, so we just see things happening.
“As women we want to be empowered by other women who are in Parliament, teach us the skills so we can make things for our next generations. If you don't work, you must have something to do to provide for our children.”